When I came to Ecuador did I think it would be as easy as it has been? No way Jose but now the rubber meets the road and the true tests of faith begins. Here I am just a little missionary who has been content in the ministry but not stretched to believe deeply in Christ’s ultimate powers. The early Church experienced miraculously signs… this took place after Jesus was raised from the dead… Jesus said if we have faith as large as a mustard seed we can move mountains… Well I stand here in front of a huge mountain… The question is, does God want this mountain moved? Does God want to show up in a miraculous way? My heart breaks because I know what stands behind the mountain, the only life I have known as a teacher in Ecuador but as I look at the mountain I can also see that God’s very fingers formed it, that this mountain although scary and terrifying, could in a sense be an answer to my prayers for a change to take place.
I actually recently climbed a very high mountain here in Quito. (Actual experience not figurative now). As I climbed this mountain there came a point where I had no strength to go on and had no idea how I was going to make it to the end. I knew that we were probably only about a mile or so into the hike but I was the one in the back huffing and puffing, slowing everyone down… So as I climbed up that hill thinking about how I didn’t think I was going to make it the whole way, that I’d be the one to stop everyone… I came to a breaking point. I began to grasp for air in desperation. Tears started to flow from my eyes. I looked out across the valley and I thought how enjoyable this would be if only I could breath and live. But through all this someone was constant by my side. My friend did not laugh at my tears. They did not reprimand me for my negative thinking or my dramatics but simply stood there quietly. And as I cried, I cried for my recent loss of a friend, I cried for the people I missed, I cried because I was disappointed in myself, I cried because I was embarrassed, and I simply cried myself out into a reliance on the silent person standing next to me.
You see my friend believed in me. I had never been alone climbing those hills but my thoughts were my own battle my own struggles that I carried alone. But as I cried to my friend they listened and spoke in such tenderness that the burden was no longer my own but my friend’s to carry as well. Through the tears I surrendered a sense of helplessness and submitted to the need to depend on another.
So as I face this (figurative) mountain ahead of me, unsure of whether my mustard seed faith will move the mountain, I know that I can’t go at it alone. I need my great friend more than ever. I need to surrender my helpless efforts in order to be able to be led / or dragged up this forever changing mountain.
Here I stand at a new point in my life where I am becoming an adult and facing changes in life that I am unsure of how to handle. How awesome is it that I have the Lord to lead me on an amazing adventure?
Jesus said, “Take heart for I have overcome the world!”
What better guide to lead me up a mountain than the one who created it and the one who knows all the slippery edges, wobbly rocks, and awesome overlooks. It’s scare to hike new terrain but even scarier to hike it alone. So I will clasp onto the hand of my creator in anticipation of a wonderful adventure to come!